SPRING HOPENOTES MAGAZINE
Thank you for your continued support of HopeKids Minnesota as we spring into a new season of serving over 1,400 families. Take a minute to look at the Spring HopeNotes Magazine which highlights the impact you have made since HopeKids launched its first chapter in 2001.
HopeKids' ongoing calendar of events wouldn't be possible without the support of committed donors, volunteers and event partners. Thank you for providing hope for the future to families who have a child with a life-threatening medical condition!
Brian Anderson, Executive Director
This year, TCM developed a three-day training that is designed for individuals in our networks to invite their key ministry leaders to discuss best practices on disciple making. Please pray for this conference and the impact it will have on the disciple-making movements around the globe.
Click the image below to view the latest TCM Prayer Channel video.
MARCH 2019 - THREE IN ONE
Since I last wrote, we have been extremely busy restoring, rebuilding and remodeling the ministry facility of Emanuel Mexico Mission. In order to make it functional for the church and other ministries, many things needed to be replaced or restored. To date, all the plumbing is in order, except for one water heater which needs to be replaced. All electrical damages are repaired except for 2 areas to which I still can not figure out. Doors were repaired and locks replaced in various areas. Other areas still in need of repairs are nearly all the kitchen cupboards, a lot of painting in nearly every area of the facility and some mason work.
The church is growing, thanks to the new Sunday School rooms now available. No more adult S.S. class in the worship area. They have their own Sunday School Room and that class has grown from 4 to 15. The teens are loving their own Sunday School room apart from the adults as well as the new children's room.
The two rooms set aside for the food pantry are now up and running. Shelving and tables were cut and placed in this new ministry outreach area (Matthew 4:4).
Another room has been established as "Jesus Carpenter Shop". It`s just a simple but usefull area for needed repairs.
The five boys who call Emanuel Mexico Mission home, Pablo, Joni, Lupe, Cristian and William are taking on more responsibilities of different ministry areas. Setting up and tearing down for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday church activities in the mission are now a regular part of their routine. It gives them the satisfaction of seeing the ministry facility full of people and opportunities of service.
Each Monday, from 10 a.m. to noon, and 7 p.m. - 9 p.m., we have a Bible College level course (Reading Club) offered to all the churches in San Luis Potosi. Response has, again, been overwhelming and the conversation time is great. The first book they are using is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Attendance averages 20 for both classes.
Jose has set aside Tuesday evenings from 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., for home devotions for the 5 boys. Breaking old habits can be hard at times, but Jose is getting the boys to open up their Bibles and learning how to pray once again. Twelve books of the Bible in twelve months is the family challange for 2019.
Our Wednesdays are busy with opportunities for the Food Pantry and a Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Center we were asked to participate in. Jose and I both share the gospel every other Wednesday at the Center with the other Wednesday we receive, clean, pack and distribute the food in the Matthew 4:4 ministry. We call it our "Miercoles de Milagros" - "Wednesday Miracles". The 40 men at the rehab center love to sing and eagerly and earnestly study God's Word. The center is only 5 minutes from Emanuel Mexico Mission, so it works well with our schedule.
We converted the former children's Sunday School class into a new office for Jose. It is located in the back patio of the church. This gives him his own personal area to study and easy access to the ministry facility and the boys in the home.
As I stated in the title this is 3 letters in one. December, 2018, January 2019, and February 2019. We hope as you continue to read you will find some blessings today for your life.
We held our annual Bazaar for the Inner City Neighborhood of Ontañon on February 8 and 9 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and words by Jose to our neighbors, "We are here for you". On February 15 we held our first ever "Valentines - Marriage Banquet". Eighteen couples enjoyed an evening of inspiring Christian music, games, message on marriage and a delicious meal. All under the ministry leadership of the Ontañon Church of Christ and E.M.M. Jose did an outstanding job of organizing this new ministry outreach. As the evening was ending everyone was in agreement that we need to do this again. So much more has taken place in the last three months, but this is just a small preview on the ministry opportunities E.M.M. is doing with the support they have been blessed with.
Still needed to be repaired (in the shop since November, 2018) are the damages to the car. The transmission is now out of the car and the van needs its regular service, oil change and electrical damages repaired. Having a horn, is essential for driving in Mexico! The van has already taken several long trips to Guadalajara, Zacatecas and other area church activities. We traveled to Piedras Negras on March 1 - 4, to the Christian Convention and returned with the remainder of our household items that were stored at a local church in Piedras Negras.
As the church is growing, plans are to move the sanctuary to the large open patio in the near future. We will use the current church worship area for youth activities. They have youth meetings each Saturday from 5 - 7 p.m. I'm not much of a dry wall person, so anyone .with this talent is welcome to come help "build a church wall".
Other ministry needs are the educational and physical needs of the 5 boys. Two of them are working, one part time the other full time, that helps a little, but more is needed in this area. David had 2 emergency room visits, (November and December), which has caused extra medical bills left unpaid.
We received a visit from Family Services and the Health Department for their annual inspection in January. We requested at least 6 months to a year to allow us time to get the facility in working order. All the emergency lights, fire alarms and gas alarms are not functioning. The underground water tanks as well as the 3 large water tanks on the roof all need cleaned and filters changed. A major overhaul of all emergency fixtures needs to be updated and repaired. This takes money and time, I told the officials to which they agreed.
Other areas needing attention are the Internet and phone line. It will take time and extra funds to get the Internet hooked up. The line was disconnected and unpaid bills such as telephone and water were left for us to pay and have caused unnecessary costs to reconnect. The TV antenna has fallen and is damaged beyond normal repair. It's interesting as we get only one channel with a box antenna connected directly to the TV. The one channel is all "Turkish" shows from 3:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. and the Mexican national news at 10:30 p.m. Definitely a Multi Cultural experience!
Contact us on how you can get involved in the ministry opportunities of Emanuel Mexico Mission. More prayers and finances are needed, but we would also like to see visitors come to work hand in hand with us. Two summer groups are already on the calendar.
God bless those that support and pray for the ministry opportunities we have been given. In another letter I need to share about a "real Christmas Miracle", as two lost brothers found each other through Emanuel Mexico Mission at Christmas time 2018. Together we are making a difference in the Inner City Ministry needs of Emanuel Mexico Mission. It's a challenge, but we are reminded daily, "We live by faith not by sight".
In closing, we want to thank everyone who believes in the ministry work we are involved in "Emanuel Mexico Mission - God with us". Every goal and every ministry opportunity set by Jose and the ministry team of Emanuel Mexico Mission, has been received with open arms by the neighborhood of the Ontañon Church of Christ and especially the San Luis Potosi Churches of Christ.
We did it 3 letters in 1. A lot of information was shared, but just like when 3 in 1 oil is used things work better afterwards. We ask that you pray and give as the Lord directs your hearts.
David & Sheri DeBolt
We had a hectic January. On December 31 we went to town to do some final preparations for a movie night for the Umumbe church. While we were driving our 2003 VW Jetta, it started making a lot of noise and wasn’t starting properly. We decided to head straight to the VW garage to have it checked. About a mile from there, the engine died and would not restart so we had to be towed to VW. After several days they told us the engine was finished and presented us with a quote for parts and labor that was about double the value of the car. They said they would try to find a used engine, but they are rare. We decided to offer it for sale – as is – and had a few queries and finally a concrete offer. We decided to accept the offer and say “good-bye” to a car we had enjoyed for many years. The buyer collected it from VW on the 30th of January and on the 7th of February we met him and he was driving it. He had managed to find an engine and he and a friend installed it!
Meantime we were car-shopping. All of our children drive Toyotas and encouraged us to follow suit. We approached the local dealer (where John used to work) and it didn’t take us long to find a new (to us) car. They had a 2018 Toyota Corolla Quest that was demo model which would meet our needs. We were able to take possession of it on February 7.
We did go to the Umzumbe church on New Years’ Eve and showed a movie to a very small crowd. We had a movie that was aimed at adults and the people who came were mostly children. We had made popcorn so the children loved that. We will choose a children’s movie next time!! The evening ended with a time of prayer and we were home shortly after midnight.
Schools reopened on January 9. Since Dawn is a teacher she had to be at school a couple of days early so we had her girls (Chayah and Seanna) for two days. Dina’s daughter, Erin, also hadn’t started school so we decided to have her join us so we had a lot of fun with the three of them. They stayed overnight one night!
We have been attending the Umzumbe church since we got back. We were very disappointed the first couple of times as so few people were there, but it seems it was just because it was December and many people were away with family. The past few weeks the attendance has been between 20 and 30. Interestingly, many of those who come are children from the community whose parents do not come. One of the ladies teaches a short Sunday School lesson for them. Pray with us that the children continue to come and that they make commitments to the Lord!
I am sure most of you know that my step-Mom, who was my Mom for over 50 years, passed away on February 1st. We knew the time was very near and had debated whether I should return to the US for the funeral. In the end, in consultation with my sister and step-sister, I decided not to go. As you know the weather in Minnesota has been brutal and even some of the near-by family were not able to be at the funeral so I am sure my decision was right. One of my step-nephews was able to have the entire service videoed and I received it the day after the funeral. I am so thankful for the times I had been able to visit Mom over the past two years when we were in the US. She was a joyful, lovely lady!
The day care center has reopened and we are struggling with teachers this year. Our main teacher from last year has enrolled in a training program for teachers so isn’t able to be there every day. The other teachers have no formal training. Also the parents are sending younger children who need more full-time care so we may have to hire more care-givers for them. Michael and Malu, who assists us with the day care center, will meet with the parents and make some decisions.
Just a short story of what Goers are doing around the world. The following is from the team leader of a Goer who is serving in Central Asia on a farm project:
"Abraham has been a tremendous gift on the farm project related to our Bible Training Center. All of our students work alongside Abraham on a daily basis. One major highlight came on Abraham's birthday. His birthday fell during a time that we had 40 Iranians from our church planting network inside their country for exegetical training. On birthdays it is customary for Iranian people to give a blessing to the person whose birthday is being celebrated. One and after stood up and gave testimony to Abraham being a man of few words and more a man of action. He has been an absolute dream for our team. Since Abraham has arrived we have baptized 41 Iranians and almost all of these men Abraham has touched in some way or anther. It has been great to watch him flourish."
Some things you can definitely be praying about are:
- Praise God for stories like these and many others from around the world!
- Pray for GoCorps mobilizers who are back on the road, visiting colleges
- Praise God, the Nelsons found a car!
I would love to hear how you are doing and to hear about ways that I can be lifting you up in prayer.
Mike & Jackie Nelson
Olivia, Eden, & Brielle
Valley Christian Church,
I want to write to tell you thank you for the offering that you send me every month.
As the minister of the Ontañon Church of Christ, I would like to report a growth in all areas. We now have 3 new classrooms (adult, youth & children). The adults grew the most by having 4 the first week & then three weeks later they had 15.
We have outreach to the community by a food pantry and a new Christian book club. Our needy neighbors were so happy to receive fresh fruits & vegetables. The book club will meet on Mondays. (one in the morning and the other in the evening). The first book is about Christian Ethics.
Again thank you.
José Manuel Gonzalez
Emanuel Mexico Mission
Dear Friends of HopeKids,
In 2018, your support provided 504 events to 1,409 families - many days, multiple events were taking place! More importantly, you provided a safe community for families to meet others who understand the toll that medical bills and hospital visits can have on families who have a child with a life-threatening medical condition. A two-hour event can have a lasting impact when you meet new friends who become family.
"I can’t explain the feeling we had being surrounded by parents who 'get it.' It was wonderful being somewhere we don’t feel out of place. Each and every person understood Sawyer and what it’s like to live in our shoes. It’s wonderful to be able to exhange information and ideas with families, as well. We had a wonderful time and feel so blessed to have found HopeKids to help us feel included in an oftentimes excluded life." - Francie, Sawyer’s mom
Your generous support creates a safe and suppportive community that brings hope to the hearts of families, just like Sawyer's. Thank you for believing in and advancing the mission of HopeKids!
Brian Anderson, Executive Director
Our project needs your prayers!
Dear Praying Friends,
We had a very smooth trip on our return overseas - thank you for your prayers. We're still just a bit jet-lagged, but it's getting better each day. Oddly, though the weather is generally warmer here than in Minnesota (our USA base), we feel much colder, as our overseas house has no central heating. We wear winter coats inside - it's warmer outside in the daytime!
Just before we left, I wrote that our workshop for 3 mountain teams was again canceled. Our team is working out when to reschedule. This is the most challenging group of languages we've worked with, because of their remote locations, and difficulty of travel and communication. One thing we know - we need a lot of prayer to get these workshops up and running. Please pray that God will give us wisdom and perseverance as we move forward.
We always covet and appreciate your prayers!
Hello Ministry Partners,
I have decided to switch up how I update you all. Instead of me taking a few hours out of my work day to come up with a few paragraphs of content, I'm going to be sending out more frequent, but much shorter updates (along with some prayer requests).
January was (and still is!) a busy month. I, along with 4 other GoCorps team members, were at the Cross Conference in Kentucky from the 2nd to the 5th. It was amazing! Email me, text me, find me sometime and ask me about it!
The next weekend, the entire GoCorps staff was all together in Texas for a staff retreat (see the photo above). It was a great time to spend reflecting on 2018 and praising God for the work he accomplished through us. We also got to set some goals as a team and as individuals. And we were able to spend some time just hanging out together since we live in all corners of the US.
One last note: Our car was backed into during Christmas break (with no one inside) and it was totaled. We are so thankful that no one was hurt (including the person who hit our car)! But we now are in the market to replace that car with the insurance money we received. If you or someone you know has a reasonably priced, reliable car, please let us know!
Some things you can definitely be praying about are:
Prayers for the 3 students who have already committed to go through GoCorps in 2019!
Prayers for the 86 college students who are currently filling out GoCorps applications
Prayers for the students who heard about GoCorps at Urbana Missions Conference and Cross Conference
Mike & Jackie Nelson
Olivia, Eden, & Brielle
Dear Valley Christian Church,
Thank you so much for your support of our ministry in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Our mission "Emanuel Mexico Mission" is expanding and reaching out to our community. Our church has two new classrooms. One is for adults with a computer and screen, which allows for our lesson to be presented in power point. The other classroom is for the youth. We are hoping to begin our food pantry this month as well.
We currently have 5 young men (boys) staying with us that are studying in the Jr. High, High School and University. We are calling this ministry our Campus House. These boys are helping with their own expenses, chores, etc. It is good for them to begin learning how to be responsable while still living under our roof.
Thank you for your offerings and prayers.
David and Sheri DeBolt